In four previous posts I laid out some basic principles and steps of strategic planning. Here’s a picture of how to put it all together. It’s an actual low-tech snapshot of my whiteboard:
When we do strategic planning at Coram Deo, we start every year with a picture just like this – filled in, of course, with our actual plan. We have Post-It Easel pads with our strategic planning diagrams from the past 5 years or so… we like to keep them to remind ourselves what we were trying to do, and whether we accomplished it or not.
As a visual thinker, I find that a diagram like this helps keep the process intuitive and fun rather than constricting and tedious.
If you’re new to strategic planning, don’t try too hard to get everything perfect. Just give it your best shot and refine it over the course of a few years. You’ll find that soon – especially if you do your planning in community – your team will figure out how to write good goals, plan effective tactics, and measure progress.